1) A brief explanation
"Chinese Medicine for Beginners" is a book about the traditional Chinese Five Element theory. Together with the concept of Yin and Yang this theory is the backbone of traditional Chinese world view, philosophy and medicine.
Why is the Five Element system so important to us today? Because it puts the different aspects of the physical, mental and emotional level of man into precise correlation and because it offers a world view that does not know a split between body and soul and a separation of man from nature which, as the two fundamental Occidental concepts, have been leading to the growing devastation of nature and the current ecological disaster.
"Chinese Medicine for Beginners" has been written for a wide range of people, for both specialists (physicians, acupuncturists and Shiatsu therapists) and all people who are interested in Chinese medicine, as well as for people who are looking for an alternative to allopathic medicine and who want to take responsibility for their health. It has been written for people who pay attention to healthy nutrition, want to be physically and mentally fit and who try to understand what makes them sick.
In medicine and healing, the Five Element system permits a truly holistic approach to health and disease. If someone is weak or sick, a diagnosis according to the laws of the Five Elements can tell you to what parts of mind and soul the illness or weakness corresponds and which mental and emotional attitudes need to change to allow healing to happen.
Especially chronic illnesses and psychosomatic disorders can rarely be treated effectively without considering the emotional, mental and spiritual background of the disease.
In its theoretical part, "Chinese Medicine for Beginners" gives a detailled description of the relationships between organs, meridians, emotions and thoughts - the Five Element system offers a system of correlations between the various aspects of body, spirit, mind and soul that is missing in Western culture. It gives you an understanding - just to name a few examples - why your future depends on your liver; why your achievements in sports are rooted in the functioning of your gallbladder; that speaking difficulties as well as talkativeness are a result of the energy state of the heart; that you cannot stop thinking, if there is an excess of Qi or life energy in the spleen; why you cannot concentrate clearly on your tasks, if your lungs and large intestine do not function properly and that your vitality and sex drive depend on the energy state of your kidneys and are influenced by your phobias and fears.
In its practical part, "Chinese Medicine for Beginners" describes physical, mental and emotional exercises to balance the functioning of the organs, to enhance the energy flow in the meridians, to strengthen mental abilities and to free the flow of emotions. For a better understanding, the book contains photographs displaying the exact body posture of each physical exercise.
2) Table of contents
PART 1: BASIC CONCEPTS OF CHINESE MEDICINE
- Yin and Yang
- The Chinese View of the Organs
- Qi, the Life Force
- The Five Elements
PART 2: WOOD
- The Element Wood
- Mental and Physical Exercises to Stimulate the Growth of Wood
PART 3: FIRE
- The Element Fire
- Mental and Physical Exercises to Ignite the Fire
PART 4: EARTH
- The Element Earth
- Mental and Physical Exercises to Strengthen the Earth
PART 5: METAL
- The Element Metal
- Mental and Physical Exercises to Refine Metal
PART 6: WATER
- The Element Water
- Mental and Physical Exercises to Get the Water Flowing
PART 7: THE FOUR CICLES
- The Sheng Cycle or The Law of Mother and Child
- The Ko Cycle or The Law of Grandmother and Grandchild
- The Cycle of Rebellion
- The Cycle of Withdrawal
- Practical Use of the Cycles
Appendix: Classification by the Five Elements
3) Brief chapter outlines
"First steps" describes the personal journey of the author to Asia and America to acquire the knowledge that he is writing about in the book.
Part I deals with basic concepts of Chinese medicine like Yin and Yang, the chinese view of the organs, a basic chapter on the meridian system, the life force Qi and the Five Elements in general. Part I is an introductory chapter for readers who are not yet familiar with Chinese medicine and culture.
The following parts concerning the various elements - Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water - describe the relationships between organs, energy flows or meridians, feelings, emotional behaviour, mental attitudes and thought patterns. Each chapter contains a check-up list that enables the reader to diagnose the energgy state of the described element in his own or other people´s lives. Each chapter also contains physical, mental and emotional exercises to balance the functioning of the organs, to enhance the energy flow in the meridians, to free the flow of emotions and to strengthen mental abilities.
The last chapter - "The Four Cycles" - describes the energetic interplay of the Five Elements, the twelve Organs and their corresponding meridians. The Four Cycles or Four Laws depict the path and the spreading of diseases and complaints from one element to another. This chapter - just to name two examples - gives you an understanding why you strengthen the lungs to treat chronic fatigue that stems from low energy in the kidneys and why you tonify the gallbladder to reduce overweight and self-pity.
4) Publication record of "Chinese Medicine for Beginners"
in the U.S., Germany, Russia, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Brazil
This book has originally been published in German in 1989 by Hermann Bauer Verlag, Freiburg, which is one of the largest publishers for New Age and natural medicine books in Germany. The German title is: Das heilende Tao. H. Bauer Verlag published nine editions until the Bauer Verlag ceased to exist in 2002.
The tenth edition has been published in September 2004 by another publisher, which is specialised in quality books of Chinese Medicine: MÜLLER & STEINICKE in Munich, Germany (www.naturmed.de). The eleventh edition has been published in spring 2009.
Chinese Medicine for Beginners was published in the US by Prima Publishing, Rocklin, California, in 1996. So far, one edition has been sold. As they are unable to organize themselves (PRIMA Publishing, belonging now to RANDOM HOUSE, which belongs to BERTELSMANN, has been restructured), the second edition has not been printed yet.
In summer 1997 Chinese Medicine for Beginners also was published by PITER Publishing, St. Petersburg, Russia. They sold 25.000 copies within two years.
In 1997 a Polish publisher (LIMBUS) and in summer 1998 a Hungarian publisher (BIOENERGETIC, www.bioenergetic.hu) acquired the translation rights for this book on the Five Elements, in spring 1999 an Estonian publisher (SÜNNIMAA). The book is called A Gyogito Tao in Hungary and Hiina tervendus-kunst in Estonia.
In 2001 the book was published in Italy by Hermes Edizioni, Roma, as Medicina Cinese - Il potere dei cinque elementi and in Spain by Editorial EDAF, Madrid, as El Tao de la Curación.
Editorial EDAF distributes El Tao de la Curación via Mexico City and Buenos Aires in Middle and South America. The first edition has been sold and now the author is looking for another publisher of the book in Spanish, as EDAF underwent some structural changes.
In 2002 the book was published in Portuguese by Editora Ground, Sao Paolo, Brazil, under the name of O Tao da Cura. The first two editions have been sold and there will be a third in 2013.
5) Anticipated market for "Chinese Medicine for Beginners"
This book has been written for a wide range of people, for both specialists (physicians, acupuncturists, Shiatsu practitioners, body workers and students of Chinese medicine) and all people who are interested in Holistic Health, Feng Shui, Qi Gong, Tai Ji, acupressure, Shiatsu, acupuncture, Traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese culture in general.
The feedback the author has been receiving by his readers has been very positive. They have been appreciating the clear structure of the book, the large amount of information contained in it, it´s linguistic quality and the useful and practicable exercises.
Patients have been using it to find out what their acupuncturist´s cryptic Five Element diagnosis really meant. Students of Chinese medicine have been reading it, as the topic of the Five Elements is only touched upon in the current acupuncture, acupressure and Shiatsu literature. Teachers of Chinese medicine, Shiatsu, acupressure massage and methods from the Humanistic Psychology movement have been using the exercises in their workshops and seminars.
From the acupuncturist´s point of view Chinese Medicine for Beginners is a practical and easily understandable handbook for his patients which saves a lot of recurring questions like: What is the Wood Element about? To what element belong the lungs? What is the season for fun? It makes the treatments more effective, if the patients know about the laws of the Five Elements and practice the exercises, because, on a mental, physical and bioenergetical level, the organism already has been prepared to receive herbal medicine, Shiatsu, acupuncture and moxibustion.
It is also of great advantage that the exercises of Chinese Medicine for Beginners are designed for specific organs and meridians. If you want to strengthen a weak organ or element, if you want to further an emotional quality or mental capability, you can select the exercises that you really need. It saves a lot of time and effort that you can bring the Qi directly to where it´s missing and that you do not have to go through a long series of Yoga exercises, Tai Ji or Qi Gong - methods which are very useful, but only have a general, not a specific, Qi flow enhancing effect.
As China is on the rise to probably the future world power number one, more and more people in the Spanish speaking world will want to learn about the various aspects of Chinese Culture - and this book is a standard on the Chinese view of the world and the basic thinking underlying its cultural achievements.
6) Author´s qualifications
Chinese Medicine for Beginners developed from my teaching experience. Since 1980 I have been giving lectures and conducting seminars on Shiatsu and traditional Chinese medicine. This inspired me to write down my introduction lectures on the Five Elements and, thus, this book originated.
Acupuncture Diploma of the International College of Acupuncture, Switzerland, 1979
Trained in modern and traditional Chinese medicine at the Colombo South
Hospital, Sri Lanka, 1979-1980
Member of the International College of Acupuncture
Member of the Sri Lanka Acupuncture Society
Trainer of Postural Integration (Deep Tissue Bodywork), California 1986
Doctor of Medicine, University of Vienna, Austria 1990
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Medicina Alternativa, Lisbon 1992
Research Project on the Psychological and Energetic Effects of Acupressure and Acupuncture, 1992-1995, leading to the publication of : Das Tao der Akupressur und Akupunktur, Haug Verlag, Stuttgart, which is now available in a third edition and has been becoming a standard in using Chinese Medicine in psychosomatic, mental and emotional disorders.
1996 publication of Tafeln der Traditionellen Chinesischen Medizin, Haug Verlag - six card boards with the exact anatomical pathway of the meridians and their points.
2001 publication of Tao Training, Falken Verlag, München, Germany - a book on the emotional function of muscle and muscle groups and how to influence personal growth through selective muscle training and sports
2004 Founder of TAO TRAINING - a method that encompasses physical training according to the Qi flow in the body, manual methods to balance the Qi flow in the meridians and organs and thus curing and preventing ailments and diseases and deep tissue bodywork to align the body in an optimal way and correct postural imbalances not only on the physical, but also on the character and personality levels.
2006 publication of Acht Wundermeridiane in his own Dào Verlag, Vienna - a 362 pages pioneer book based on 15 years of research on the effects of the Eight Extraordinary Vessels of the meridian system. The Extraordinary Vessels have not been subject to many publications so far.
Since 1980 seminars on Chinese Medicine and since 1986 on Deep Tissue Bodywork (Shén D&vgrave;o) in Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Indonesia and Brasil.
Further informations on the author and his current seminar schedule on www.taotraining.at
The copyright for the translation into foreign languages is held by:
Dr. Achim Eckert
Josefstädter Straße 43/1/25, A-1080 Vienna, Austria, Europe
Phone: 0043 / 1 / 405 23 28